Army seeks guidelines on tackling Naxal attacks on facilities | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Army seeks guidelines on tackling Naxal attacks on facilities

Hesitant to engage itself in anti-Naxal operations, Army today said it has sought guidelines from the Centre to deal with Maoist attacks on its installations planned in left-wing extremism affected areas.

delhi Updated: Jan 14, 2011 19:09 IST

Hesitant to engage itself in anti-Naxal operations, Army today said it has sought guidelines from the Centre to deal with Maoist attacks on its installations planned in left-wing extremism affected areas.

The Army is planning to set up a training facility for its Special Forces in Bastar district in Chhattisgarh, which is known to be a hotbed of Naxalites. "We are looking at a situation where somebody tries to instigate us by trying to foray into these training areas. We have asked a clarification on the Rules of Engagement (RoE) to ensure that this issue is taken care of.

"All that we are asking is what happens if we are fired at and we fire back. How do you legally cover our people... We all should know what are the do's and don'ts. There is a need for clarification on this," Army chief General V K Singh told a press conference.

The Army chief said the force does not require outside protection to its bases and this will be done by its own troops only. He said for the legal cover required for the troops to be deployed in the region, the Army is "not looking at AFSPA as we don't want to and will not operate in those areas.

We are only looking at training into the areas earmarked and the base there." Asked about scenario where Army bases are attacked by a large group of Naxalites, Singh said, "I think that they will not do any such thing because they know that they will get a befitting reply if they try any such thing."

Asked if setting up of bases in the region would mean that the Army would be involved in anti-Naxal operations in future, he said, "We have deliberately decided to stay out of any commitment in the left wing extremism and Maoist problem except for giving advice and training."

He said the acquisition of land in Bastar and taking over of an airstrip there was part of its long-term plans as it was looking for land to shift its training school from Nahan in Himachal Pradesh to some bigger area. Singh said the Army setting up base there should not be seen as a sign of it ultimately being drawn into these operations.

A couple of years ago, after Maoists fired at IAF helicopters in Chhattisgarh, government had allowed it to fire back at Naxalites in case of an attack.